Warmsworth Bell Tower

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House, and also as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWarmsworth Bell Tower
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityDoncaster
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishWarmsworth

Bell tower. Probably C16 with C20 cupola. Rubble magnesian limestone with wooden cupola. 2 storeys, single cell. Square lower storey with quoins and boarded door in south side beneath thin stone lintel. Upper storey becomes octagonal at half-pyramidal corner stops and is capped by band and offset courses forming the cupola base. Cupola is open-sided, arcaded, and has boarded roof with spike finial. Served to call the congregation to the old parish church situated at a distance from the village centre. The tower may be of medieval origin or be contemporary with the earlier Warmsworth Hall situated nearby on site of present hall. (Listed Building Report)

At the junction of Glebe Street and Low Road, South of the High Road, stands the tower which, Magilton describes as possibly the most enigmatic structure in Doncaster district. Above a square base, the upper level is octagonal, topped by an originally 17C arcaded wooden cupola. The rubble-built base could be out early as 13C, with later adaptations contemporary with a 16/17C predecessor of present Warmsworth Hall just to W. The structure could initially have been a small tower house or corner tower of the enclosure/lightly fortified courtyard manor. White (VII) gives an explanation of the name: i.e. that the church bell was hung there, the church itself being an mile from the village, on an eminence overlooking the Don. (Sneyd 1995)

Now disused, a 17th century structure, "could be 13th century" (South Yorkshire SMR)

Gatehouse Comments

An area much changed and now difficult to read - The 1st edn 6" OS map gives a better idea of the relationship with Warmsworth Hall. Seems far too small to be a free standing tower house, indeed so obviously so as to wonder what Sneyd had in mind, however a curtain wall tower of a walled manor is a possibility (although the small door into the tower, which may be a later insert, is on the outside of any likely enclosure). It is not credible this was a 'church' bell tower, presumably the C17 bell was there to call workers in from the fields. Is there any interior evidence for use as a dovecot? Gatehouse can not see any dateable architectural features and the dating of this feature is open to considerable question.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE547007
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 18
  • Hey, D., 1979, The Making of South Yorkshire p.150 (plate)
  • Magilton, J.R., 1977, The Doncaster District: An Archaeological Survey (Doncaster)
  • Lewis, S., 1848, Topographical Dictionary of England Vol. 4 p. 472 online transcription
  • White, Wm, 1837, History, Directory and Gazetteer of Yorkshire
  • Miller, E., 1804, The History of Antiquities of Doncaster (Doncaster) p. 221 online copy